Thursday, June 16, 2016

Utilize What You Already Have

Lisa and I are huge fans of DIY and repurposing. With my crafting background, and her talent with tools, wood and putting things together, it's a great balance. We've made use of many items that have been passed down to us. Or, we've purchased items for dirt cheap at yard sales and flea markets, fixed 'em up, repainted, and utilized. Although most of what we've fixed up and repurposed is displayed and used, we have a few pieces in the basement.

Last year, we were looking for a specific sized book shelf to convert into a biscuit love display for one of our locations. Right around the same time, some friends of ours had found a bookshelf on the side of the road. It was sturdy. In good shape. Solid wood. It just needed a fresh coat of paint.

It was also exactly what we were looking for.

Also, at the time, we had a piece of storage furniture that was almost identical to what they were looking for to put in their bathroom. Although we really liked this piece of furniture, it wasn't functional. It was just there. Eye candy. It had been there since we moved into our home in the summer of 2012.

Long story short, we traded. The sturdy, solid wood shelf in exchange for our piece of storage furniture. There was happiness all the way around.

Lisa fixed the shelf up a bit and gave it several coats of good paint. For the next year, we used it for our biscuit love display. However, a few weeks ago, we pulled our display due to the location a commute. Since then, the shelf has been sitting in the biscuit room.

What to do. What to do.

Earlier this week, I was trying to find the brush and comb for our kids. We have a tiny storage area in the kitchen where we keep everything for our kids. Grooming stuff. Apparel. Extra bowls. Vitamins. Shampoo and conditioner. Other miscellaneous stuff. Usually, the combs, brush and nail clippers are in a basket hanging by this storage area. The operative word is "usually."

I couldn't find the comb and brush I needed. 

At that point, I was dropping the F-Bomb left and right because this storage area has become a total mess. Like with the toy box situation, a few years ago when we only had Coco, it was fine. Now, with 3 kids and more items, not so much. Every time I need something from this unorganized area, I get irritated. I've lost count how many times I considered purchasing a bigger storage solution.

One of my biggest pet peeves is congested, unorganized areas within our home...especially catch-all areas. I like things to be organized. 

Today, while bagging up biscuits, I looked at the shelf, still sitting there unused, and had a total DUH moment.

After the biscuits were bagged and a couple of boxes were packed for shipping, I shifted into high gear.

This happened. I took everything from the small storage area in the kitchen and organized it all on the shelf. I also eliminated a few items that we no longer need for the kids. Not only did it provide more than enough room for all of our kids' essentials, it also freed up the small storage area in the kitchen.

That area will now be used for paper goods, kitchen linens and light bulbs. And when needed, extra drinks (soda, Gatorade, iced tea, etc) that won't all fit in the refrigerator.

Too often, and I'm guilty of this too, when we're spring cleaning or organizing a room or two, our first instinct is to purchase storage solutions before we tackle the project at hand. However, as I've learned many times, we have what we need already. This goes for totes too. Once you eliminate items you no longer use or have any need for, it frees up totes and space and shelves.

Over the past 4 years, the only store-bought purchase we've made for storage is a 3 shelf space saver rack we have in the bathroom. That's it. Everything else, we've already had on hand and we've utilized what we already have.

I'm a happy girl.

This gorgeous shelf was made by the talented lades over at Trindy Primitives! We adore their pieces and have about 5 of their creations scattered throughout our home. They're located in Pomfret Center, Connecticut. Check out their Trindy Primitives Facebook page for more! 

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